Down to Earth, a new reporting initiative on the global biodiversity crisis, launched today on Vox. The new initiative, supported by the BAND foundation, sheds light on this underreported ecological catastrophe through Vox’s signature explanatory journalism. Led by senior science editor Eliza Barclay, editor Brian Anderson, and reporter Benji Jones, Down to Earth will zero in on the “now what?” by spotlighting the biodiversity crisis, uncovering underlying causes, and defining what’s at stake.
Building on Vox’s award-winning 2019 Supertrees project, which uncovered connections between the biodiversity crisis and political and corporate accountability, Down to Earth will reflect an orientation toward reckoning and responding to the biodiversity crisis, with an emphasis on the systemic causes and a future-forward analysis of what substantive and meaningful solutions could be. With this project, Vox aims to bring new audiences into this critical conversation: people just beginning to connect with the natural world around them, whether they live in cities or not; people curious about non-human species and our relationship with them, but who don’t necessarily identify as animal/wildlife/nature lovers; and people interested in solutions to climate change and other global crises. The goal is to reach and engage people interested in taking positive action, interested in Indigenous people’s knowledge, experience, and interested in holding corporations accountable for environmental destruction.
The series kicks off with a feature on the “30 by 30” target — a global push to conserve 30 percent of Earth’s land and water by 2030 — and how the Biden administration could advance both national and international biodiversity goals, as well as an explainer on Montana’s new war on wolves.
You can read the latest coverage and learn more about Down the Earth here.
Vox explains the news. In a world of too much information and too little context, too much noise and too little insight—Vox’s journalists candidly shepherd audiences through politics and policy, business and pop culture, science, and everything else that matters, empowering its audience with the context they need to answer questions they didn’t know they had. Vox is home to influential verticals including Recode, The Goods, and The Highlight; a robust podcast lineup featuring “Today, Explained,” “The Weeds,” and more; and acclaimed video production with popular series like “Explained” on Netflix, and “Missing Chapter” and the Emmy Award winning show “Earworm” on YouTube.
Eliza Barclay (@elizabarclay) oversees Vox.com’s award-winning health, science, and climate coverage. She led the team of writers, photographers, and editors that received an Online Journalism Association award, a Scripps Howard award, a National Press Club honorable mention, and a Pictures of the Year International award in 2020 for the Supertrees project on tropical forests and deforestation. Before joining Vox, she was a staff editor and writer at NPR, and a freelance reporter based in Mexico City.
Brian Anderson (@thebanderson) is the editor of Down to Earth. He is a Webby Award-winning storyteller who has reported on giant clams and Indigenous rights in the Pacific Northwest, human smuggling in the US-Mexico borderlands, and all things in between. Before he joined Vox, he was contract science editor at The Atlantic and a features editor at VICE.
Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones) is a reporter for Vox’s Down to Earth project. Prior to joining Vox Media, he covered the energy industry as a senior reporter at Business Insider, where he broke news on Exxon, investigated solar companies, and exposed the unique challenges facing LGBTQ people in the oil industry. He’s written environmental stories for a wide range of publications including National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Audubon Magazine. Benji was a wildlife and forest researcher for years before becoming a journalist.